Author Archives: oliviasn

My Cosmic Perspective

Coming into this course, I was already very interested in astronomy. I have always loved looking at the stars, and I had my first formal experiences with astronomy in Astronomy 102: Stars and Galaxies and Astronomy Lab last semester. Thus, I was extremely excited to continue my study of astronomy. I have remained intrigued about […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Golden Record

Regardless of whether or not life beyond Earth actually does exist, it is fascinating to consider how extraterrestrial life might view Earth and Earthlings. Most of the time, people tend to focus on how humans on Earth would respond to aliens, should they come into contact, However, during lecture the other day, I was intrigued […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Mystery of the Mass Extinction

Before reading the section in Chapter 12 of the textbook on cosmic collisions (Section 12.4), I had not realized that there exists some controversy as to whether or not an impact killed the dinosaurs. I had always been taught that an asteroid hitting the Earth resulted in the mass extinction and had never considered that […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Galilean Moons

When I went out observing on the 24th Avenue Parking Garage the other night, every astronomical object that I saw through the telescope amazed me, but Jupiter especially captured my attention. I had never viewed Jupiter through a telescope before, and on this beautiful and mostly clear night, I was able to clearly see not […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Debating about the Dwarf Planets

When I received an e-mail from my astronomy professor from last semester, David Weintraub, about an article that he had recently written for The Conversation, I was quite excited to read it. Professor Weintraub is very passionate about Pluto and quite vocal about his disapproval of its demoted status. This article, entitled “NASA missions may […] Continue reading Continue reading

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A Moment of Appreciation for the Sun

One object in the Solar System that I tend to take for granted proves to be the Sun. Because it is a constant in my life and I always know that I can depend on it rising and setting everyday, I often overlook how powerful it is. The Sun has been shining for 4.6 billion […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Time to Understand the Tides

Even though I am from Colorado, I have to admit that I am more of a beach person than a mountain person, and a fascination with the tides has always been inherent in my love for the beach. However, until reading Chapter 4 of the textbook, I had never understood exactly why or how the […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Archaeoastronomy: A Connection between Ancient and Modern Cultures

I have always been fascinated by different cultures and how cultures interact with each other. Thus, whenever I learn about a new subject, I always try to approach it from a cultural perspective. I had not found a way to do so with astronomy until I learned about the field of archaeoastronomy. I am especially […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) Copernicus was vital to astronomy because he radically transformed the perception of Earth’s position in the universe so much that the Copernican Revolution helped form the origin of modern science. Based off of Aristarchus’ work, Copernicus’ calculations of each planet’s orbital period around the Sun as well as each planet’s relative distance from […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Blog #2: Eclipses

Both in class and while reading the textbook, I found myself particularly fascinated by the phenomena of eclipses. Although it would be extremely cool to see eclipses every month, the fact that they do not occur very often because the moon’s orbit is tilted by 5° with respect to the ecliptic makes them so special […] Continue reading Continue reading

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